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HBO censors five episodes of 'South Park' for featuring Islamic prophet Muhammad

The creators of the animated series criticize that any religion is allowed to be parodied but the same is not true for Islam.


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HBO Max removed five episodes of the television series South Park from its platform for humorously referencing the Islamic prophet Muhammad. Banning these episodes goes against the platform's permissiveness when joking about religions other than Islam.

The deleted episodes are: "Super Best Friends," "Cartoon Wars part 1 part 2", "200" and "201". All of them speak of the Prophet Muhammad, who according to Muslim tradition cannot be physically represented.

Creating an animated representation of the prophet is offensive to those who practice Isalm, which led the platform to remove these episodes.

The controversy involving these episodes is nothing new

These episodes already presented problems for South Park creators Trey Parker and Matt Stone, who received threats from Islamist radicals for featuring Muhammad in their animated series.

Comedy Central, which acquired the rights to the series, had a dispute with the creators back in 2006. The network ended up broadcasting the episodes but censored the parts with the animated version of Muhammad. The episodes remained banned on HBO Max despite the censorship already in place.

At the time of the controversy, the creators of South Park argued that Comedy Central was hypocritical as most religions were considered fair game to mock except for Islam. This was addressed in their episodes "200" and "201," which were also censored by Comedy Central.